Training opportunities

There are many opportunities for undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral training at Schepens. Potential applicants are encouraged to use this web site to gather detailed information about the institute, its faculty, and its research programs. Access is provided here to e-mail addresses and individual web pages.

Training opportunities exist at several levels:

Harvard-Vision Clinical Scientist Development Program

The Harvard-Vision Clinical Scientist Development Program offers a customized and structured learning, research, and development environment to a select group of qualified clinically-trained candidates who have recently completed (or about to complete) their training, but who desire further mentored learning experience so as to become independent leading clinical scientists in their respective fields. Trainees in this program will: complete a core curriculum that includes the Harvard Program in Clinical Effectiveness (PCE), a summer-long immersion program in biostatistics, epidemiology, study design, and outcomes measurement and the course, "Molecular Bases of Eye Disease”, a multidisciplinary survey course focusing on the biological mechanisms (genetics, immunology, neuroscience, vascular biology) of eye disease. Candidates will also perform research in a closely mentored program under the guidance of mentors who are leaders in their respective fields with the express objective of allowing them to develop into independent investigators. Trainees in this program will additionally have the option of seeking an advanced degree (MS, MPH, PhD, ScD) at Harvard.

Learn more about the Harvard-Vision Clinical Scientist Development Program

Short-Term Training

Students at all levels of training will be considered for summer research projects or for part-time projects during the school year. Interested students should contact a faculty member directly.

Predoctoral Training

Several Schepens faculty members hold appointments in one of the Ph.D. programs of the Division of Medical Sciences (DMS) at Harvard Medical School. The relevant programs are: Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Immunology, and Neuroscience. The Ph.D. degree is awarded by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) of Harvard University. Predoctoral fellows can earn a Ph.D. degree under the auspices of any of these faculty members. Interested students should visit the DMS web site information is available about these programs’ research and faculties, and about application procedures.

Postdoctoral Training

An extensive program of postdoctoral training is available at Schepens for candidates who hold the Ph.D., M.D., or other advanced degree, in conjunction with the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. A complete description of the program and application procedures follows.

Training of Vision Scientists

The major goal of the postdoctoral training program at Schepens is to prepare qualified individuals for an independent career in the basic or clinical aspects of vision and eye diseases. Schepens provides opportunities for trainees to increase their knowledge in areas such as biology of the retina and its diseases; ocular surface diseases; immunity, inflammation, and transplantation, vision and visual optics.

Trainees conduct full-time research under the guidance of their chosen mentor. In addition, a personal advisor and members of the Institute's Training Committee (chaired by Dr. Patricia A. D'Amore, Director of Research) follow the progress of the fellow in order to optimize the training experience. A variety of activities to enrich the training experience are offered including: weekly Fellows' Seminars, workshops on the Responsible Conduct of Research, and many networking and social opportunities such as Career Night, the Fellows' Luncheons, and the Annual Fellows’ Appreciation Day, in June, which bring trainees together on a regular basis, and are forums for presentation of works in progress. Trainees are encouraged to participate in the meetings of relevant interest groups (Focus Groups), and to attend the weekly and monthly seminar series at the Institute, as well as seminars of interest presented at neighboring universities and research institutions.

Upon completion of training, trainees should be capable of independently formulating an hypothesis; designing, carrying out, and interpreting experiments to test that hypothesis; critically evaluating the results; and writing up the work for publication. In addition, trainees will have an opportunity to develop a command of the relevant literature and an ability to evaluate published articles critically in order to recognize important, well-documented findings.

Requirements for Completion of the Training Program

The trainee must complete at least one year of research training in the laboratory on their research project. The trainee is expected to make at least one oral presentation regarding his/her research project at the weekly Fellows' Seminars, and write a short progress report to be reviewed with a Training Committee member after six months of training and again just prior to leaving the Institute. Trainees also attend Schepens and/or Harvard Medical School seminars concerning the responsible conduct of research and are required to completed seven hours of training.

Application Process

Schepens Eye Research Institute Postdoctoral Training Program

Any individual who has completed a Ph.D. or M.D. degree program and has an interest in a vision-science career is welcome to apply. The applicant should contact one or more faculty members in his/her area of interest to identify an appropriate mentor. Information about the Schepens research and faculty is available on this web site.
Contact: Bridget Boles
Program Coordinator, Research Training Programs
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Training Program in the Molecular Bases of Eye Diseases

In addition, several members of Schepens faculty participate with other faculty members of the Harvard Department of Ophthalmology in the Postdoctoral Training Program in the Molecular Bases of Eye Diseases, sponsored by the National Eye Institute. This program is designed to provide expertise in molecular approaches and techniques applied to ophthalmology and vision research. The trainees are supported by the program for the first year, and are expected to apply for individual funding to support the remaining period. Positions are available for individuals immediately after the awarding of their terminal degree as well as for those who have completed their postdoctoral clinical training. Candidates must have a Ph.D. or M.D. degree, and be citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Minority applicants are encouraged to identify themselves voluntarily.

We are not accepting applications to this program at this time.

Contact: Bridget Boles
Program Coordinator, Research Training Programs
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.